My name is Laura Bowden. I have not been paid to speak here today.
I had Dow Corning breast implants in 1990, removed in ’92, fell severely ill 4 months after they were put in, almost 2 years of trying to figure out why I was so sick.
By the grace of God, I had a full recovery upon removal. Cause and effect at its best.
I could give more details regarding my illness, but it seems these amazingly strong and well-educated women that I’m honored here to stand with today have that part covered.
I’m here to talk about history. See, I believe I’m watching history repeat itself.
When I removed my implants in 1992 and regained my health, regained my health overnight, I may add, it lit a fire under me.
I vowed to speak for all those sick women I was blessed to meet at Baylor University, where my implants were removed, speaking for those that had no voice, an underground of sick women, all with the same symptoms.
Coincidence? I think not. I am one of the lucky ones.
I became fierce in this fight to end this travesty back then, taking on the CEO for Dow Corning on Oprah with other brave women, spoke loud whenever I had the chance. Jennie Jones mainstream news, picketing in Chicago, spoke with Ralph Nader.
Fires that were started only to be put out by a much more powerful force, Dow Corning.
The FDA made a poor attempt at the moratorium to pull these devices off the market, only to be lifted and put back on the market in 2006.
No new improved, no better safety studies. All for the financial gain within a greedy industry.
And now, here I find myself surrounded by a second generation of sick women, thousands and thousands of sick women. Mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and daughters whose lives have been destroyed once again.
How have we found ourselves here again?
Did we not learn back in the ‘90s about the dangers of breast implants? Were we not listening? Did you not see the devastation of so many innocent lives? I heard them all. I heard their cries and felt their pain. I was one of them at one time.
Not until I met my dear friend Latasha 6 months ago did I realize nothing has changed.
Thousands of sick women. Doctors in denial, no insurance coverage. Struggling to get a diagnosis. Nothing has changed.
It is beyond deplorable that this is still going on.
I attended conferences of so many brave doctors who were doing the studies back then, concluding that yes, silicone adjuvant breast disease was the correct diagnosis. Sadly, they were few and far between willing to admit it.
Nothing has changed. Except now we have evidence of a real form of cancer every breast implant causes: BIA-ALCL.
I can’t help but remember while attending one of the conferences an immunologist spoke. I will never forget his words. ‘Women will develop rare forms of cancer from these faulty devices down the road. Mark my words.’ He knew. He knew the devastation that these faulty devices would fall onto these innocent women.
It is not as if this is a new illness. You know it, I know it, and every courageous woman in this room knows it.
I beg you, I urge you, to do what is right to ensure that another generation never has to fall under such pain and isolation.
So many sick women have traveled from afar to speak here only to have their voices heard to make a difference.
I am beyond honored to stand with these strong and resilient women to see that this never happens again.
You have the power to make that happen. Please do what is right.
Thank you for allowing me to speak.
[Open public comment given by breast implant recipient Laura Bowden at the General and Plastic Surgery Devices Panel, FDA White Oak Campus, Building #31, Great Room, on March 25, 2019. The title of this article does not constitute part of the speaker’s presentation to the FDA Panel, and any hyperlinks within the text or text appearing in brackets were added for clarity or ease of use by editors.]